When does the endowed democratic power to ‘activists’, result in a skirmish which is a wasteful exercise for the collective? Today, on issues like nepotism, sexism and nationalism, social media branded justice of brands and public figures has become the latest trend among netizens. People’s opinions and feedbacks are no more confined to their group of friends but are shared like social wildfires creating an outrage. Most people have worn the hat of activists and are raging a protest on moral, sexist, religious or communal grounds.
Brands get dragged into these controversies and are forced to bear the brunt. Recently, Tanshiq got caught in the political and religious crossfire and was accused of promoting the sentiment of “Love Jihad”. The next in line is Myntra, one of the largest online retailers for clothes and accessories in India owned by Flipkart.
In what way is Myntra’s Logo Offensive?
According to Naaz Patel, the logo is offensive because the design resembles a woman whose legs are spread open.
She also expressed that this is not a discovery and the conversations about the vulgarity that lies in the logo have been making rounds on social media for quite some time. If not her then someone else would have taken up this.
Who is Naaz Patel and why is she tagged as an activist?
Naaz Patel is a Mumbai-based activist associated with the Avesta Foundation, an NGO, who has filed a complaint against Myntra in December 2020 stating that its logo is offensive for women.
Initially, Ms Patel tried reaching out to the Company urging them to change the logo and warned them of legal actions in case if they didn’t act. Since there was no response from the Company’s end she took up the matter with the Cyber Crime Department of Mumbai Police.
Many have accused Ms Patel of being a hypocrite as she has gone on record and stated that she does not think that Myntra’s logo design was “deliberate and intended” to offend women. If that is the case, then what is the ground for taking such punitive legal action. Her intent largely remains a mystery.
Final Verdict in The Case
Post the investigation, Myntra’ logo is declared as offensive.
Confirming the verdict, DCP Rashmi Karandikar, Cyber Crime Department of Mumbai police stated “We found that the logo was offensive in nature for women. Following the complaint, we sent an email to Myntra and their officials came and met us. The officials said they will change the logo in a month”.
Consequences and Myntra’s Response so far
The top Management in a meeting with the Cyber Crime Department of Mumbai police has accepted the verdict and have agreed to change its logo soon. The logo change shall be made across all places from its website to the application.
The promotional and packaging material will also undergo a change. The printing orders for packaging material with the new logo have already been issued.
The real question is do we stand in line with such targeted activists’ movement?
Companies like Myntra, Tanshiq and others lose millions in rectifying an issue which was never aimed at invoking intentional and structural discriminatory in the society. So, activism against brands needs to have a strong legal background and it should not be directed by an individual’s viewpoint. Plus, the legal framework should be made stricter and re-designed based on equality which can provide justices to the complainant as well as the company.
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